If you're a 'do-it-yourself' kind of person and you're looking into getting a hot tub, you might want to try building one from a kit. It's a good way to get your hands dirty and feel that you've accomplished something without having to build your hot tub completely from scratch. Several companies that sell wooden hot tubs offer home-assembly kits.
Smaller personal tubs can be assembled from a kit by yourself in most cases. However, if you're looking to tackle a large spa, you may want to recruit a friend or two to help with the heavy lifting and for an extra set of hands when you need to keep something steady. All kits include detailed instructions that are generally easy to follow in a step-by-step manner. So, you'll quickly be able to see whether you'll need some help.
Before your hot tub kit arrives, pick out a good spot for assembly. This spot is also likely to be where you will use the tub, although smaller wooden tubs can easily be lifted by a few adults working together. On that topic, bear in mind the fact that a full hot tub (small) will weigh in the 1,500-2,000lbs range (more with a few adults inside it), so plan accordingly and pick a spot that can handle that much weight.
Most hot tub kits will include the following pieces: wood slats (staves), metal banding to hold the whole thing together, a pre-assembled floor, pre-assembled bench seating, and detailed instructions. If you're looking to do more than assemble the various pieces and want to customize your hot tub by adding your own flair (to the seating, for example), it can be done. It may be best to wait until your kit has arrived so you can check the specifications and measurements of the benches and see how they are attached to the base of the tub. Then it's a simple matter of taking your notes to a lumber yard and choosing the materials you want to use instead of what was shipped.
If you do change any of the components that come with your hot tub kit, be careful! You'll want to use materials that can handle the constant presence of water without rotting or causing leaks. Redwood, cedar, and teak are among the best choices. Good luck!